Friday, September 30, 2011

purple & gold

In honor of my favorite college of all time and their homecoming this weekend, I thought today might be fun to share some of my favorite JMU finds from Pinterest. Is it ever possible to have too much purple and gold?  I doubt it!  I am not making my way to Harrisonburg this weekend, but I can celebrate here on the blog!

Quad Love

Source: via Brooke on Pinterest

It's about time I made me one of these...

Source: via Brooke on Pinterest

I hope I have a baby girl one day, just so I can take her to a Dukes football game in this...

Source: via Brooke on Pinterest

And these...they're just so perfect!

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

How great is this game day apparel?

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest


I really love this place!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Segway Tour

I need to start this post by saying, if you ever, for any reason, thought I was "cool," you better erase that idea from your mind now. Because what you're about to see, will totally go against that. 

On Sunday morning, we attended a Segway Tour of Richmond. Last year for Christmas, my mom gave us this after she found a great deal on Groupon.  To be honest, I was really just going because it was a gift. I wasn't all that excited for it. But y'all....I now want to go on a Segway Tour in every city I visit!!

Seriously. This was the most fun I've had in 2 hours in a LONG time. My husband and brother are both itching to get their own Segway now (Not that either of them have any good reason to own a Segway!).

The hardest part was getting on the Segway, but once you were on for about 2 minutes, you had it down.  By the end of the day, we all had them up to their top speed of 11.5 mph!

J was a rebel and took his picture without wearing his helmet. Our guide, Buzz, probably wouldn't have liked this! 

We have some weekend trips coming up to new cities and we're already looking into Segway Tours in those cities. I know that we look like complete DORKS on them (trust me, I see it too!), but it's such a fun way to see a city!  

Also...any other Arrested Development fans out there? We pretended we were G.O.B. Bluth all day long...."I've made a huge mistake, Michael."

Man, I miss that show.

So there you have it, my nerdiest moment on the blog, but I have no shame and I'm ready to do it again!  How much do you love this year's Christmas picture that we took on the tour?

Happy Segwaying friends!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Around the internets...

This past weekend there have been a handful of lovely blog posts and finds on the internet that have really stuck with me. I thought I should share three of my favorites!

1. This lovely rendition of Adele's "Someone Like You." A few people I know from college have shared this on Facebook, and well, it's pretty amazing. I love the Adele version, but this one is pretty great, as well!

2. This wonderful post about friendship by Maggie.  Just go read it. She summed up a lot of my own feelings on the matter quite well.

3. I have always had a crush on the handsome Paul Newman.  This week Kathryn over at Snippet & Ink did a little post spotlighting his 50 year marriage to Joanne Woodward. And y'all, it made me feel all mushy-gushy and lovey-dovey. Just go for the pictures. They're great!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

fall weddings

This weekend we attended our FIRST wedding of 2011. This is the the first time in probably 6 years that my summer wasn't packed with weddings. We have a lot this fall, but it was rather nice having the summer off!  

This wedding was for a good friend of J's from high school. He has a solid group of guy friends who he has remained close with over the years, and it's always nice to see them and their wives and girlfriends, so this wedding also served as a fun reunion!

Here's my hot date and I before the wedding.  We stayed at my parent's, so we had my mom on hand to snap a few pictures before we left!

The bride! Her dress was so pretty....and different! I have never seen a dress like it, but it was perfect.

The happy couple!

Pretty table settings...

Some other friends at the wedding, Scott and Christine! Christine is one my blog readers...hi Christine!

They looked like they planned the blue, don't they?

As expected, it was a fun evening, and a great chance to celebrate with friends.'s fun to wear a pretty dress from time to time! 

We have wedding #2 in about 2 weeks, and that one is J's brother's wedding up in New Hampshire. I can't wait for the pictures of New England in the fall!  I've never been this time of year, so I'm hoping for gorgeous weather.  Fingers are crossed!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Menu

Happy Monday! I know I was a little MIA from the blog this past week. Between school and weekend travels, and putting eye drops in my eye every five minutes, and spending time with my husband, the blog has been lacking in updates.  Hopefully, this week I'll get back on track some. 

No better way to start the week than with some delicious food!

My meals:

And as usual, it was quite tasty!  It had been a while since I'd made risotto, but felt great. I love the long process of constant stirring and letting the rice absorb the sauce. It's almost therapeutic after a long day. Can anyone relate to that?

Next up, I made GRITS Crock Pot BBQ and Cole Slaw....


....this is the only picture I got. It was just so darn delicious that it got gobbled up before I could even think about my camera.  Just trust me. It was GREAT! And one of those super easy, prep ahead meals. I'll be making it again!

J's Meals:

Super tasty, BUT....and this is a big but (LOL....typing that made me laugh), neither of us liked the tomatoes. I think we'll definitely be omitting those next time and maybe do something like sauteed asparagus instead.  Fresh tomatoes just weren't doing it for us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

use somebody

I know I'm in the minority here, but I really don't like Kings of Leon.  And when they're song "Use Somebody" was all over the airwaves a few years ago, I found myself changing my radio dial all the time. 

And then a few weeks ago this popped up on J's Mumford and Sons Pandora station....

And now I'm obsessed. I downloaded it on iTunes and it has quickly jumped up my most played list.  This is one of those songs I thought I hated, but someone totally turned that around. I can't get enough now! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Monday...getting our groove back

It's been 2 weeks since I did Menu Monday.  We're having a hard time getting into our cooking groove and there have been a lot of nights where we're eating whatever is in the pantry or fridge.  Here are a few of the things we've enjoyed lately:

My meals:

This was a great casserole. It made wonderful leftovers. It was relatively healthy. And I just love Iowa Girl Eats! Make it soon!

These were just as delicious as they sound. This was another find from Pinterest.  It was a no meat meal, and with basil in our backyard, it was also one f the cheapest meals I've made in awhile.

J's Meals:

We make this so freaking much. I LOVE IT. OM NOM NOM.
Pancakes and Bacon

Y'all know I love me some breakfast for dinner. Makes any bad day a great one.

Spaghetti with Homemade Dinner Bread

No links for this one! These are all family recipes or from a friend and I have no links/don't feel like typing them up. Sorry friends....just trust me and know that it was delicious!!!If you really need the sauce recipe, email me and I can type it up for you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

the eye saga continues...

First of all thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and comments over here and on twitter.  You all sure know how to make someone feel better.  This whole process has not been fun, but seeing such sweet comments definitely make me feel better.  I know some of you are probably tired of reading about this darn ol' eye of mine, but I wanted to blog about it again because so many have sent such nice texts and tweets today asking me how I'm doing.  This was an easy way to share what's going on.

I had my appointment this morning, and to my surprise I do not have a retinal tear.  I suppose that's a good thing.  The bad news is that I have something called uveitis. While I do believe that uveitis is easily treated, what's not good is that it is often associated with about a hundred-and-one different diseases and sicknesses. The doctor doesn't think I have anything else wrong with me since I seem to be in good health with zero other symptoms, but of course I am still wondering...maybe there is a bigger issue.

For the next 6 weeks I have steroid drops to put in my eyes (every 2 hours this first week...he is serious about these drops!). Hopefully this will fix the uveitis.  If I go back in 6 weeks and it hasn't cleared up, then chances are, there is a bigger issue that needs to be fixed and I guess we'll worry about that then.

Right now I'm feeling a little let down, mainly because I was looking for a clear answer and diagnosis today.  I know that I got a diagnosis for the eye, but now the question is just what's causing it? Am I fluke person who just developed this on my own? Or is there something else I need to have checked out? If you know anything about uveitis, please feel free to share in the comments or in an email to me. I'd never heard of it before today, and webMD is somewhat helpful, but I'd love to hear a real story. 

Oh, and on a funny note...if you ever want to feel really good about yourself, visit a retina specialist!  In the waiting room, I was EASILY the only person under 70. I was also one of about 3 patients who wasn't using a walker, cane, or wheelchair.  Once I finally sit down with the doctor, he expresses how odd this uveitis is in me because I seem to be very healthy and I'm so "slim."  Apparently it's more common in those who are obese.  It's always nice to be reminded of my youth and hear that I'm "slim!" That was my one positive from the whole experience!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

blog your heart

I was inspired by two of my very favorite bloggers (Stephanie and Ali) to blog my heart today...

Here is what is real in my life right now:
  • I have a giant pile of laundry on the couch beside me as I type this. It's been here since Tuesday.
  • I am really nervous for my eye appointment tomorrow. So afraid that they'll either say there's nothing they can do, or it will be something very serious. I know in the back of my mind, that I'm likely going to be okay, but I let the doubt overpower that.
  • I really miss my old job. Like, really bad. It's not that my new job isn't a good fit, because it is, it really is. I have wonderfully kind coworkers, great students, a supportive administration....but I just miss my normal. The new job has not started to feel like normal yet. I hope that transition starts soon.
  • I haven't put a single grade in my grade book since school began (today was day 15)
  • We've been dealing with 2 VERY weird dogs lately. After their trip to the kennel over Labor Day weekend, we've come home to some NOT so nice surprises...we think Layla was legit sick, but Rosie just decided to spite us. I won't even share what she'll just have to trust me, it was bad. It involved our bed comforter and a trip to the dry cleaners.
  • Despite my job not feeling like it's "my" job, we're loving this new chapter. We love the city, the people, J's job is fabulous...Charlotte has been a good fit.
  • The day I saw the ophthalmologist, I got myself Chick-Fil-A for dinner, then followed it up with a bowl of ice cream. I certainly know how to make myself feel better.  I know it wasn't the best choice of meals, but sometimes, that's just what I need.
  • I haven't been to the gym since school started. This makes me feel lousy, but I just can't get my feet on the ground at school. Last year was my 4th year of teaching in VA, and I finally felt like I had it together (well, at least a little!). This year, I feel like I'm back at square one in a lot of ways.
  • J was in Florida last weekend, and I totally missed him the 3 nights he was away. I used to think that married people couldn't possibly miss one another since they're together all the time...that's definitely not the case. I guess I'm lucky to have someone who I miss after just a few days apart.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

darn eyeball

Soooo...remember last month when my right eyeball decided to get all wacky on me and it stopped doing its job correctly?

(PS...hope you love this image I found for y'all, via google image search!)

Welp, I went in for a checkup yesterday, my symptoms have remained the same (still seeing lots of floaters and spots), and after a nice little eye exam, my ophthalmologist has referred me to a retinal specialist. That's right. He told me I need to see someone with more experience with the retina because he doesn't want me to come back next month "blind in my right eye." Lovely.

In addition to him seeing more indication of a torn/detached retina, he also noticed that I have a swollen optic nerve.  Turns out this is an indicator of an autoimmune phenomenon. PHENOMENON. When he said that, I almost had to laugh.  It doesn't even sound real.  I'm sure anyone in the medical field who reads this knows that's not a big deal, but being told that I have a diagnosis of something that is a PHENOMENON cracks me up.

So that's the eyeball update. My retinal specialist appointment is Friday morning. Thanks goodness I work at a school that is so understanding since I'm having to take time off so early in the year. In the meantime, send me some happy thoughts for Friday. I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea that I may be going blind AND I may need eye surgery.  All happy and encouraging thoughts and prayers are welcome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the two best friends...

Remember when we got Rosie and Layla hated her?  Not anymore.  I think this picture says it all.  These two are a mess (literally and figuratively), but I don't think I could love them anymore if I tried (as if you didn't already know that).

There's only one thing better than coming home to a wagging tail and kisses....two sets of tails and kisses!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I don't really have the right words to put all my thoughts on the blog today.  Ten years have come and gone, but the memory and the feelings of that day are still fresh in my mind.  I have changed so much in the last ten years, going from the age of 17 to 27, but my feelings and emotions from that day....they still stand out in my mind, like it was yesterday.  

My heart aches for the families who have lost their loved ones as a result of this day.  For the victims, the first responders, and for all those who have lost their life in the war that has been going on since this will not be forgotten.

I will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor Day Weekend: Part 2

After we left Massachusetts last Friday, we flew to Wisconsin (where we had had previously planned to spend our Labor Day weekend).  Due to some bad traffic around Boston we were pretty close to missing our flight, but we made it with about 10 minutes to spare.  

Due to the large amounts of time we would be spending in the airport and on planes, I was well stocked in food and entertainment!  I had my Nook, a paperback, my iPod, and my husband who designs apps for a living, brought just about every gadget he owns. He also picked on me saying I packed food for a three year old...I'll let you be the judge! I guess I just like bite size snacks!

After a long layover in Chicago, we made it to Appleton, Wisconsin, which might just win the award for smallest airport I've ever visited.  His cousin (whose upcoming wedding was the reason we flew out, we were there for his engagement party) picked us up and about five minutes after we landed, his fiance landed as well.  It was nice timing!

The next morning we got up and visited, and then headed to the lake for the engagement party.  It was SUCH a nice party that J's aunt put together for all of the family to attend. The wedding is in NYC in October, and we won't be able to go, along with some other family. This was a nice way for everyone to get together and celebrate, and for the whole family to meet his fiance. And best of all, we got to see a lot of family we hadn't been able to visit in two years.

The not so newlyweds....

 The soon to be newlyweds and their beautiful cake (her wedding colors are orange, yellow, and grey...I think)


I loved this kid. I think he's J's second cousin? So many family members I'd never met were here. I'm still a bit confused as to who everyone was.  But this kid is the same age as my students and he spent most of lunch taking peoples' corn cobs and fishing with them in the lake.  As in...he held the corn cob in the water, and then using his net to catch the fish who swam to the corn cob. He was so into this. I loved it.

Later in the afternoon we had a big storm, so we raced into the cottage by the lake, but that was quickly followed by a power outage.  What does a group of distant family and friends do during a big storm? Play bowl of nouns of course (my new favorite game!).

Sunday morning we headed back to the airport to fly back to North Carolina...but only after a stop for some cheese curds and string cheese!  This is my favorite part about visiting Wisconsin (after the people, of course!).  If you've never had cheese curds, you're missing out. I was pretty afraid of them when i first gave them a try two years ago...ESPECIALLY when J's aunt said the best and freshest ones squeak in your mouth. But as soon as I had them (squeaky of course), I was hooked.

When we finally made it back to Charlotte on Sunday evening, we were beat. We picked up the dogs at the kennel (which, btw...I hate leaving them behind!), and headed to get some Oktoberfests and a pizza at my new favorite pizza place in Charlotte, Luisa's!

It was nice coming back Sunday and having all of Monday to recharge after such a busy 4 days of traveling.  We loved that we were able to see so much family in one weekend, but we were sure exhausted!